“‘We often ended up bucketing international and domestic terrorism into two separate buckets,’ said panelist Nick Rasmussen, who formerly helmed the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). ‘One of the things I hope you leave here today with is maybe some sense that that may not be the right way to think about it.’

“Rasmussen said that during his time in government, when dealt with terrorist threats at the highest levels, he couldn’t remember having a single conversation about hate-based domestic terrorism, including hate inspired by white supremacy.

“’I feel a little bit sheepish and almost embarrassed about that,’ he said.

“’American communities are more threatened by other forms of terrorism today than the kind of terrorism that I made my business for the last 17 years,’ he added.

“Rasmussen has a deeper understanding than most of the way that bucketing process works: As the former NCTC chief, he headed an arm of the Intelligence Community set up after the September 11 attacks that focuses exclusively on international terrorism. Constitutional protections bar national security officials from using many of the tools they target on foreigners against American citizens. But as domestic terrorists kill more and more Americans, there’s a growing sense that the federal government needs to do more…”

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